Jeff Smith, Starboard Value Add to Position in Office Depot Inc (ODP)

Jeff Smith‘s fund Starboard Value, has slightly increased its position in Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP), the latest filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, disclosing the fund currently holds 43.45 million shares of the company, versus 42.1 million revealed in an earlier filing. The holding is activist by nature and amasses 8.2% of Office Depot’s common stock, up from 7.9% held earlier.

Jeff Smith

Starboard has raised its holding, despite its previous intentions to sell some of the securities, for which the fund entered into a sales plan agreement with J.P. Morgan Securities LLC. According to the filing, the agent (J.P. Morgan Securities LLC) did not sell any shares, because the trading price of Office Depot was lower than agreed with the plan.

Following this, the parties of the sales plan agreement signed a side letter agreement, under the terms of which, no shares of Office Depot held by Starboard can be sold for a period of six months and one day after the last purchase of stock by Starboard. According to the filing, Jeff Smith’s fund last bought shares of the company on December 13.

Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP) is involved in the office products and supplies business. The company operates in 41 countries and additionally has a tie up in 19 countries. Office Depot operates in three business segments: North American Retail Division, North American Business Solutions Division and International Division. Earlier in November, Office Depot Inc merged with OfficeMax Inc (NYSE:OMX). The merged entity will operate under the Office Depot Inc name.

Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP) is also rolling out the 3D systems Cube (R) 3D printing services to 150 stores in the U.S. This follows the positive response it got from its customers.

Starboard Value Lp, managed by Jeff Smith held the biggest long position in the company at the end of the quarter ending September 2013. The fund had 42.1 million shares valued at $203.3 million. Pine River Capital Management managed by Brian Taylor with 13.17 million shares worth $63.60 million, came in second, followed by Alec Litowitz and Ross Laser‘s Magnetar Capital, which disclosed ownership of 9.46 million shares valued at $45.71 million.

Disclosure: none

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